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Ventura County Focus / Countywide

County and Officers at Bargaining Impasse

January 14, 1998|SCOTT HADLY

The union that represents more than 300 Ventura County probation officers, correctional officers and other peace officers has reached an impasse in contract negotiations with the county.

Union members are scheduled to meet tonight to discuss what actions--including such tactics as picketing--they might take to end the deadlock in negotiations, said Bill McPoil, the union's chief negotiator.

The Ventura County Peace Officers Assn. represents county probation officers, correction services officers, county park rangers and patrol officers who work at the airports and the harbor.

Union members are asking for a 5% cost-of-living increase, premium pay for peace officers who speak Spanish and benefits for domestic partners, McPoil said.

Members would also like more say in changes to their schedules and transfers between county facilities, he said.

"Many of these are swing shifts that have potential to impact their personal lives," McPoil said. "They would just like to have more input into how those decisions are made."

County personnel director Barbara Journet said that Ventura County is willing to go back to the table and negotiate with the union at any time. A state mediator was brought in late last year to help with negotiations but to no avail, Journet said.

Tonight, union officials will discuss a range of possible actions, including picketing, going before the Board of Supervisors, canvassing door to door and taking out newspaper advertisements, McPoil said.

"We'll probably take most of those actions," he said.

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